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Tatsuhisa Suzuki Offers to Step Down From Ultraman Anime Season 2 Role

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Voice actor slated to play Kōtarō Higashi before recently announced hiatus

The official website for the 3D CG anime of Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi's Ultraman manga announced on Friday that Tatsuhisa Suzuki offered to step down from the role of Kōtarō Higashi/Ultraman Taro (seen right) in the anime's second season, due to Suzuki recent hiatus from "all entertainment industry activities." The anime's staff and production committee are discussing what will happen to the Kōtarō Higashi role, and will announce their plans as soon as they are made.

The anime staff had announced Suzuki in the role last summer. However, as a result of his hiatus, he will not appear in the renamed "Anime Ultraman Season 2 Kickoff Event" on August 24. (The event's previous name referenced the fact that six main cast members, including Suzuki, would have appeared.)

Suzuki, who also sings as part of the group OLDCODEX, announced a hiatus on Wednesday due to being in poor health. OLDCODEX and Suzuki's agency I'm Enterprise made the announcement shortly after singer LiSA, Suzuki's wife, also announced a hiatus "from some of her activities" due to mental and physical fatigue. OLDCODEX and I'm Enterprise announced Suzuki's hiatus from nonspecific "activities," but the Ultraman anime's Friday announcement specified that his hiatus is from "all entertainment industry activities."

LiSA and Suzuki announced their marriage in January 2020. The Weekly Bunshun magazine reported on July 30 on an alleged extramarital affair between Suzuki and a female work associate.

Suzuki performed the opening theme songs for the first season as a member of OLDCODEX.

The first anime season premiered globally on Netflix in April 2019 and has 13 episodes. The series then premiered on television in Japan on April 12. Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East, Napping Princess) and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Harlock: Space Pirate, Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars) directed the first anime season. Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East, Napping Princess) and Sola Digital Arts (Appleseed Alpha, Starship Troopers: Invasion, Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars) produced the anime in 3D CG. Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi composed the music.

Netflix described the anime's story:

Several years have passed since the events of Ultraman, with the legendary "Giant of Light" (光の巨人 Hikari no Kyojin) now a memory, as it is believed he returned home after fighting the many giant aliens that invaded the Earth. Shin Hayata's son Shinjiro seems to possess a strange ability, and it is this ability, along with his father's revelation that he was Ultraman, that leads Shinjiro to battle the new aliens invading the Earth as the new Ultraman.

The anime is getting a second season with Kamiyama and Aramaki and Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts returning from the first season.

Update: Original casting announcement date corrected. Thanks, AtoMan.

Sources: Ultraman anime's website via Nijimen

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